General chatter - Sicko




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missingmyerica
11-14-2007, 10:35 AM
Just watched Michael Moores movie, Sicko and wanted to hear what others thought about it. I would love to hear from people who live in countries that have free national healthcare. How do you like it? Do you feel that you get good care? It seems like other countries outside the U.S. focus a lot more on prevention. As a nurse here in the U.S., I am often horrified by the amount of people who fall through the cracks of our healthcare system. Any thoughts?


NightengaleShane
11-14-2007, 10:53 AM
I LOVE that movie!

As for free national healthcare (while I am American), I have heard that like anything else, there are pros and cons. Every nation with free national healthcare gets taxed to death for it, BUT I have heard from friends in places like Canada and the UK that the healthcare system *does* take care of you.

I think universal health care would help so many people. Anyone with a "pre existing condition" knows that the cost to SURVIVE is EXPENSIVE without insurance! For instance, I'm a type 1 diabetic. The cost of insulin alone would rack up to $400/month without insurance, and then test strips and other miscelleanous supplies would add almost $200 more.

There was a short time when I had no insurance and no job benefits. I practically stopped eating out of medical necessity :lol:

Most medications are incredibly expensive without coverage, so people who are broke and insuranceless often neglect their health because in the US, they pretty much have no other option. ****, hospitals and doctors even treat you so differently without insurance. If you mention a medical concern that you might want checked out (but you don't have insurance), they pretty much ignore you and brush it off, but once you have insurance, your problem suddenly matters... :dizzy:

ALSO, did you know that insurance companies often delay payments until a patient's credit rating is in peril or otherwise impacted? I have seen friends have to bug insurance companies, in spite of the fact that they are paying premiums to these companies, to pay on time even when paperwork is properly submitted. People should not have to have their credit rating jeopardized or have to make a choice between paying the high costs themselves, somehow, even if they are financially stressed to the max...and then hope the insurance company will one day reimburse them.

KforKitty
11-14-2007, 12:34 PM
I live in the UK and have above average income so yes I am taxed considerably and at the moment I would say my family puts more into the National Health system than we take out. However, I accept that as there may be a time, hopefully a long time off, when I will need care. And yes I feel I have had excellent care when I have required it. When my son was born and needed specialist neonatal care, when I had a detatched retina repaired and even my recent experiences of support for my weightloss from my G.P have all been good (I was precribed Xenical for which I pay 6.75 a month, around $14).

At least with the tax system people pay proportional to their income but still get the same level of care regardless of how much that is. It horrifies me the number of stories I hear about honest hardworking people who can't get access to healthcare benefits because they work part-time and are not entitled, or have had to give up work due to illness. So yes, despite the drawbacks and some inequalities in the system, I strongly support universal health coverage.

Kitty


Me23
11-14-2007, 03:24 PM
I live in the UK, and on the whole, I'm glad we have the NHS and am willing to pay for taxes for it. Then again, I might change my mind after I graduate, LOL!
My experience of it has been highly variable. I have only been seriously ill twice in my life and both times there were major problems. I actually might have died - I let a problem get really critical because I have an abnormally high pain threshold, which isn't always a good thing as pain is supposed to be a warning - and the doctors didn't pick up on the seriousness of my problem so the operation I needed was delayed and delayed. Then I realised how bad it was, and we paid to go private. When the private surgeon operated, he found out it was critical, and should have been picked up much earlier, so they didn't end up charging us any money. But every time I've had something small wrong with me (which kind of adds up over 20 years...) I've mostly been able to just go to the doctor and get it sorted, which when I step back and think about it is a really great thing. What exactly happens in the U.S. if, say, you don't have insurance, and you're in a car crash or something? Someone told me you'd just be left there, but I don't believe that. Don't you have to get insurance by law, like for cars?

mandalinn82
11-14-2007, 03:49 PM
Jude - Emergency departments are required to provide emergency care to anyone coming into their emergency room. So if you were in a car crash, you'd be taken to the closest ER for treatment. Usually, though, you'd be stabilized and moved to public hospital as soon as possible, if you were originally brought into a private one. So, for example, if you were in a car crash outside of a major private hospital like Cedar's Sinai, they'd stabilize you and then transport you to a County General or other public hospital as soon as possible. And you would be billed for all of the charges (and we all know in the US how expensive an Emergency visit can be...usually no less than $1000).

There are programs to pay for some of those costs, but again, people slip through the cracks. And motorists are required to carry insurance to cover medical bills. Those would only apply, though, if you were in a car crash and it was the other person's fault...if you were at fault for the accident, your car insurance would most likely not cover your medical costs.

tamaralynn
11-14-2007, 03:57 PM
I live in Alberta *Canada* where I pay $88 a month for family health care. This cost covers dr's vists, surgeries, medical treatments in hosp or docs office, laboratory testing and diagnostic imaging. We still pay for the medications (unless you have another coverage through work), diabetic paraphanilia (some of which may also be covered if you have a special plan) and all therapys (mental and physical).

I heard that Ontario has a similar plan... but is free (??) this is what I'm hearing from my aunt who lives in Toronto.

Alberta is taxed higher than Ontario.... hence one of the reasons why Alberta government is so "rich"... of course jacking up gas prices and keeping the profits doesn't help us citizens much either. *mumbles*


Oh yeah, I should probably add: The health care I pay for here is ONLY covered in Alberta (it is NOT national coverage). If I was to travel to let's say BC (e.g. travelling just over the border to go on an overnight camping trip and I get attacked by a bear); unless I purchased special health care for travel purposes nothing would be covered. I could get any emergency treatements I would need, but I would be billed for it.

almostheaven
11-14-2007, 04:46 PM
Jude - Emergency departments are required to provide emergency care to anyone coming into their emergency room. So if you were in a car crash, you'd be taken to the closest ER for treatment. Usually, though, you'd be stabilized and moved to public hospital as soon as possible, if you were originally brought into a private one. So, for example, if you were in a car crash outside of a major private hospital like Cedar's Sinai, they'd stabilize you and then transport you to a County General or other public hospital as soon as possible. And you would be billed for all of the charges (and we all know in the US how expensive an Emergency visit can be...usually no less than $1000).

There are programs to pay for some of those costs, but again, people slip through the cracks. And motorists are required to carry insurance to cover medical bills. Those would only apply, though, if you were in a car crash and it was the other person's fault...if you were at fault for the accident, your car insurance would most likely not cover your medical costs.
Adding to this...

There are programs such as going through the financial aid dept. of the hospital itself, or to make small monthly payment arrangements. There are also free and income based clinics for those without insurance, for non-emergency situations.

As for car insurance, the only time your insurance would pay if you were at fault for the accident, is if you carry full coverage insurance. And even still, if you're not at fault, there's no guarantee the other driver will have insurance. Some people don't follow the law and a few states don't even require insurance.

FrouFrou
11-14-2007, 04:48 PM
I saw the movie and love Michael Moore!

There are pros and cons, yes so I don't know what I think about this. But I do know there have been several times we had to fight the insurance companies over stupid, petty things...they do not budge and it is ridiculous. What I hate too is you can't just go to the freakin doc...you gotta go to your general and get stinking referrals for everything, almost everything. Overall, though I guess we are pretty lucky in that we have insurance. I feel for those who don't.

Me23
11-14-2007, 05:51 PM
Wow, it sounds like a harsh policy when put down on paper (ok, screen). But then I guess you could say it's not fair that a lot of people in the U.K. are paying a lot of money into something they won't use and can't, ultimately, rely on.

almostheaven
11-14-2007, 08:09 PM
Wow, it sounds like a harsh policy when put down on paper (ok, screen). But then I guess you could say it's not fair that a lot of people in the U.K. are paying a lot of money into something they won't use and can't, ultimately, rely on.
Which is another part about national health care I don't care for. Not only do you pay if you won't use it, but you pay for people who refuse to hold down a job, creating a situation in which they won't have insurance. You pay for people who simply want to get by on other people's dime. And I just can't wrap my mind around wanting to do that.

cbmare
11-14-2007, 08:49 PM
Which is another part about national health care I don't care for. Not only do you pay if you won't use it, but you pay for people who refuse to hold down a job, creating a situation in which they won't have insurance. You pay for people who simply want to get by on other people's dime. And I just can't wrap my mind around wanting to do that.

Yep. It's called welfare. Some people use it as a helping hand. That, IMO, is what it is for. However, too many use it as a way of life. They treat that income as many of us see our salaries.

babenwaiting
11-15-2007, 12:35 AM
I knew a lady from Canada (can't remember where there) who liked their health system until she developed a critical neurological problem, and was having horrendous symptoms, with doctors trying to figure out whether it was strokes, MS, or whatever. I couldn't believe how she was forced to wait for tests/appointments while having all these symptoms that could kill her! I think that she finally had to come to Minnesota and pay for care there for fear she'd die before she got help in her area of Canada. That is probably not common, but sounded scary to me!

The U. S. has it's problems, too. However, we don't leave people on the highway after a car crash! :) They will get care; it's just that you aren't able to choose your doctor, etc. You have to go with whatever comes your way, and then pay for it, if you can, over time if you don't have insurance. Of course, many people don't! With either system, you have people "carrying" other people who don't or won't pay the bills for themselves.

kaplods
11-15-2007, 02:36 AM
My brother-in-law is a african american from a poor family. He had a heart condition from an early age, but never received the proper care or even diagnosis, though he had been rushed to the emergency room several times as a child after passing out during physical activity. After he married my sister, but before he had health insurance (he was working a full-time job with no benefits as well as a part-time job where he worked too few hours to qualify for insurance) he passed out while playing basketball and was rushed to a hospital with a very good reputations. Tests were run, and they told him they performed surgery and had fixed the problem, sending him home with medications and a very large bill.

Last year he made retail manager at his store and finally had great insurance. He passed out again playing basketball, and was taken to a different hospital with a comparable reputation. The cardiologist went over everything in fine detail. He ordered medical records and determined that BIL had never seen a cardiologist, had been misdiagnosed with different wrong diagnoses (the misdiagnoses a result of not running proper tests), and the "surgery" that he was told "fixed" the problem wasn't a surgery at all, it was only a test that involved an incision to insert a catheter into his heart during the test. The "treatment" that he should have been getting since childhood was simple and cheap - only involving close monitoring of his electrolytes. The consequences of not doing so, could have been (and could still be) fatal.

What really p's me off, is that we all were fooled by what on the surface seemed to be competent care. I have a master's degree in psychology, and while I'm the most educated in my family, the rest of the clan aren't dummies either. I never spoke to the doctor's directly, but my sister and mother had, and they had also been led to believe that the cardiac "test" was a surgery that fixed the problem.

I thank God that he had insurance when he was injured playing baseball (he was batting and his eyesocket was crushed by the ball). He had to have extensive and delicate reconstructive surgery to remove bone fragments and rebuild the eyesocket). We were a little apprehensive since this had to be done the same hospital that claimed to have fixed the heart, but he received excellent care, and doesn't even have a scar (though my big-dumb-kid husband persuaded my nephew to stick a refrigerator magnet to his dad's head to see if it stuck to the new metal plate - it did).

My husband and I have had recent health care issues as we're both on disability. Mostly it has been good, but there have been enough glitches that we don't take anything for granted. I lost drug coverage a couple months ago that won't pick up again until the beginning of next year. While it began as a nightmare, it has had a happy ending. I had to stop taking most of my more expensive drugs and found that a good part of the illness I've been experience may have been side effects from some of the drugs I've been on. I'm in a lot more pain from fibro and arthritis, but my asthma or COPD is gone. Pain sucks, but not nearly as much as not being able to breath.

I don't know what the solution is, but I think it's most horrifying that most people have no way of knowing whether they are receiving good health care. If the doctor is "nice," and seems to know what he or she is talking about, we trust that we're getting good care. I've learned that you can't trust that. If you can, you have to educate yourself so that you can in essence check your doctor's work. I've always felt that I've done a fair job of doing that, but have been fooled on several occasions. It's frighting to me to know how many people will never know that they aren't being given the care they need.

KforKitty
11-15-2007, 05:54 AM
Which is another part about national health care I don't care for. Not only do you pay if you won't use it, but you pay for people who refuse to hold down a job, creating a situation in which they won't have insurance. You pay for people who simply want to get by on other people's dime. And I just can't wrap my mind around wanting to do that.


But you're also paying for those 'deserving' poor who have low paid menial jobs, old people who've worked and paid in all their lives, paying whilst you are physically able for a future when you are not. Lets face it EVERYONE will encounter periods in their life when a major health related intervention is required, if that happens in the US at a time when you are unable to afford health insurance you're going to have a very difficult time getting the care you require. Yes, there are freeloaders in the system and that is for their own conscience to justify but my social conscience can't see people suffer because their 'crime' is being poor.

Getting down from my high horse now.

Kitty

Me23
11-15-2007, 06:33 AM
"However, we don't leave people on the highway after a car crash!"

LOL. I did think the person who told me that was winding me up. I'm incredibly gullible and tend to believe whatever people tell me. Like this one time, a guy told me his dad owned the Hilton....(true story).
Re: freeloaders v. deserving poor: in an ideal world, there would be a massive redistribution of wealth and labour here in the U.K., which would eliminate both categories. But as that probably won't happen any time soon, I think I'm willing to pay for the former so that the latter get service.
But ask me again in a year when I have to get a real job and pay taxes (aaah!)

srmb60
11-15-2007, 06:52 AM
I have a story about wait times ... I had a pt, a 70-ish woman with urinary incontinence. Early in the morning we recieved word that they had a bed for her in a primary care facility with a urologist. Was her husband livid when I had to tell him a short while later that the bed had been taken and she'd have to wait. They didn't seem to care that the 'taker' may have been an accident victim or a transplant recipient.
She did go the next day but I can just imagine the stories at the doughnut shop later!
Often times ... waiting a long time ... is in the eye of the beholder.

We do pay a health tax but it's very little. I'm not getting my T4 out to see for sure how much, but it's not much. And I'm sure I used up my fair share having three babies and their emergency visits, immunizations etc.

Was it a financial hardship one year when I had two kids in casts and one going for daily dressings for a nearly severed toe? Yes!

Through work we have supplemental insurance ... medications, dental, vision, semi-private ... but I pay for part of those too. But I've only had those for a few months. We didn't have anything like that when the kids were growing up.

Yes, our system is flawed too.

babenwaiting
11-15-2007, 11:16 AM
SusanB, the lady with neurological problems, that I mentioned in my post above, was having to wait weeks and months for tests that should have been done NOW! I was stunned when I found out people were kept waiting who had life-threatening symptoms like that. It wasn't anything simple like waiting overnight for a bed because of urinary incontinence!

almostheaven
11-15-2007, 04:19 PM
But you're also paying for those 'deserving' poor who have low paid menial jobs, old people who've worked and paid in all their lives, paying whilst you are physically able for a future when you are not. Lets face it EVERYONE will encounter periods in their life when a major health related intervention is required, if that happens in the US at a time when you are unable to afford health insurance you're going to have a very difficult time getting the care you require. Yes, there are freeloaders in the system and that is for their own conscience to justify but my social conscience can't see people suffer because their 'crime' is being poor.

Getting down from my high horse now.

Kitty
Well, I've been one of those 'deserving' poor with a low paid menial job. And I still didn't expect other people to float my bill for me. I expected to get to school and get out of my low paid menial lifestyle, and did. So maybe it's why I just expect no less of anyone else.

And during this time of low paid menial employment, my daughter needed tubes in her ears. I had no choice but to pay it in small monthly payments. I paid nearly half the bill before I found an organization that helped out with the rest of the cost. I'm thankful they came through and helped, but they did it voluntarily. And that's the same way I think we should all be treated. That we could help voluntarily, if we want to. But not be forced to shoulder others who we may not feel are trying nearly as hard as they could be.

As far as whether one gets better care with insurance or not...I dunno. My son has had the same insurance. I recently changed pediatricians because I simply felt the previous one wasn't being communicative with me. She wasn't taking my concerns seriously. He gets a LOT of colds, for a child who isn't in daycare and constantly messes with his ears. Turns out they could be allergy related and he's seing a specialist in a couple of weeks. The ears could be itching. But the previous doc kept saying it was normal behavior and that his ears were fine. I like his new doc. He talks to me, he explains things to me, he doesn't brush me off. And he's getting the same insurance payments she got.

So like someone mentioned about people not knowing whether they're receiving good care. I think with or without insurance, if you get crappy care, it's not gonna matter either way.

srmb60
11-15-2007, 05:34 PM
Babenwaiting ... honey ... I wasn't making any kind of corelation between your story and mine. I guess I should have clarified that, yes indeed, we do have some horrific wait times.

Your story is, unfortunately, not rare enough. People often become more and more debilitated while waiting for treatment.

I hope your friend has informed her MP about her ordeal. In fact, I'd like to know how things turned out. Good I hope!

babenwaiting
11-16-2007, 12:54 AM
SusanB, I lost touch with this lady with the neurological problems aound the time she was planning her trip to Minnesota to get medical care there. I've always worried about what actually happened with her. She was young, with three small children, and I was amazed that she was waiting weeks for tests that would have been done within hours at an emergency room here in the U. S., whether you had insurance or not. Both systems could surely use improvement, couldn't they? :^: But, with Michael Moore, he always mixes in a little too much of "his fiction" with some of the facts, and confuses the issue. Thanks for your comments!

EZMONEY
11-16-2007, 01:15 AM
Abuse of our (United States Of America) system at the top...abuse at the bottom causes our system to be flawed. Many people get hurt...but we don't live in a perfect world.

I have been very fortunate to have always had insurance. I have been very fortunate to have always had good care and great success with several surgeries. I know I am lucky.

I am NOT a Michael Moore fan....I am not saying he doesn't have some good points....but it is easy to spin things the way you want them for your own agenda.

I saw him on Oprah say that Jesus said the way to heaven was to feed the hungry and take care of the sick....that statement is so not true!

kaplods
11-16-2007, 02:08 AM
I had wanted to see the movie, until I read of some of the inaccuracies and manipulations of the truth, and I realized it's just another piece of propaganda. It doesn't seem to matter any more whether or not a person tells the truth as long as they get to express their opinion.

There are people who aren't able to help themselves for many reasons. My brother-in-law's mother has a terminal brain tumor, but she's been repeatedly turned down for disability (she's worked all of her life, so she's paid into the disability system just like everyone else), unfortunately she's proud, not wanting to tell her very personal business to strangers, and not very savvy about how much detail she needs to go into to prove she cannot work (she thinks she still can, but the tumor is causing seizures that can't be controlled by medications any more). She needs an advocate, but there isn't any system in place that will allow for one. She's not mentally incompetent, just stubborn and proud, so none of her children can really intercede for her One social worker to which she was assigned to help her file for disability agreed that she could work "with epilepsy," and closed out her case because the social worker happened to have epilepsy I guess she did not read the entire file to know that the seizures are not epileptic but caused by a progressive tumor).

I have to admit that I truly felt like almostheaven most of my life. That helping others should be voluntary, not mandatory, and that we should expect people to take care of themselves under most circumstances. I still believe that systems have to be developed to make it easier to be self-reliant, and harder to be victims, but I've seen to many innocent victims of the system to believe that voluntary giving would be any more successful than mandatory. One of the main reasons welfare was developed was because people weren't voluntarily giving enough to help everyone who needed it. What do we do then, let people die in the street?

There are always going to be abuses at the top and bottom. People who find ways to avoid paying the taxes everyone else does, and people who find a way to get benefits to which they're not entitled. Finding ways to reduce the abuses, and avoiding inefficiency wouldn't solve the problem, but sure couldn't hurt.

And while I agree that Michael Moore has twisted Christian doctrine, I don't think that ignoring the plight of the sick and hungry, or having a "let them fend for themselves" attitude is something to be proud of, whatever your religion or lack there of.

EZMONEY
11-16-2007, 08:12 AM
COLLEEN ~ I hope you didn't think that I didn't feel we should help the needy...did you?

My statement about Jesus from Michael Moore was meant to show an example of how he twists and spins things.

NightengaleShane
11-16-2007, 08:33 AM
*Steps on soapbox*

As for people volunteering to help others... MORE people should volunteer, then! ;) there should be a VOLUNTARY tax to help form a universal health care system of sorts! Medical conditions are EXPENSIVE and not everyone can afford to be in good health. The economy SUCKS and good jobs with benefits are difficult to find. A lot of employers PURPOSELY hire people for less than 40 hours (even if it is 35) just so they don't have to offer benefits. Health insurance rates for people with pre existing conditions are COMPLETELY outlandish and often unaffordable!

...and despite starving out of necessity and potentially jeoparadizing my health because I was broke, I've had it off easy compared to so many people - one of my aunts got hospitalized for a week and was given a bill that she still has never been able to pay... one of my friends owes over $100,000 in hospital debt alone because he neglected his health due to poverty... now, he has a good job with benefits (he is a teacher) but is considering filing for bankrupcy because he will never, ever be able to pay off all he owes!

As I said before, I know universal health care would be a two-sided coin... there are positives and negatives to everything... but SOME form of it would be NICE!

*Steps OFF soapbox*



I saw him on Oprah say that Jesus said the way to heaven was to feed the hungry and take care of the sick....that statement is so not true!

...uh... it isn't? :?:

Ok, I know there isn't a verse in the bible where he explicitly said that word for word, but I DO believe Jesus wants people to do everything in their power to help others, as He went out of His way to do so.

What part of that statement do you disagree with? Out of curiousity... not trying to start an argument. :)

EZMONEY
11-16-2007, 08:49 AM
Off to work here KIDDO...so quickly...Jesus did say to help others! My point was that doing so is not the way to heaven...we don't earn our way there.

Can't explain further because I am heading out...but PM me and I can explain tonight/this week-end.....

I didn't mean to make things complicated here folks.........

BACK TO THE ORIGINAL QUESTION....WHAT ABOUT SICKO?

NightengaleShane
11-16-2007, 08:51 AM
:lol: read my soapbox rant above your quote - I got back on the subject ;)

aymster
11-16-2007, 10:21 AM
Haven't seen it, don't want to see it because it IS Michael Moore.

However, we do have socialized Medicine for some: it's called the VA. I've never heard anything good about the VA (and I have several families members and friends who've used them). Also, try to get a hold of a doc or someone in the pharmacy by phone (ie: when we call from our pharmacy for a transfer/new script). The waiting is horrible along with many misdiagnoses.

My friends from Canada say there's is not good healthcare, either. Also the waiting, docs that don't really care (cuz I'm sure their salaries are what they should be), mis diagnosis again and you have to pay for your drugs as well.

I thought our ancestors moved away from Europe, esp. England, due to heavy taxation. I, for one, don't want my taxes to be so heavily increased to get this type of healthcare.

And I also don't mind helping out by helping to pay for Medicaid for those who need it because it was set into place for short-term use. From the pharmacy standpoint, I just see too much abuse of that system and that part of it really chaps my hiney.

I think if they started by fixing Medicaid and the VA, I might change my mind.

Just my 2 cents... :D

Maybe I'll watch sicko by the sicko, but only if it's for free cuz I'm not giving a dime to that man.

almostheaven
11-16-2007, 10:41 PM
As I said before, I know universal health care would be a two-sided coin... there are positives and negatives to everything... but SOME form of it would be NICE!
I'm thinking that a better form of healthcare would be to sponsor EMPLOYER healthcare for those employers that don't provide it or to part-time workers. That way, it's not footing the bill for those who won't work. Then, healthcare to the elderly or disabled, because they can't work. But people who simply won't work shouldn't be getting anything free until they can prove that they're willing to put something into what they hold their hand out for.

srmb60
11-17-2007, 09:02 AM
Part of the original post question was about prevention. I, for one, would find that hard to pay for. And I think that's human. Think of all the folks you know that don't go to the dentist until something hurts.

I don't do this very often but I'm going to stick up for the doctors. I've been at this for a long time and can only think of maybe one instance where a doctor was primarily responsible for long waits (I'm talking weeks or a month). This doc thought that if he spaced office appts far enough apart, he'd have time to spend time with new clients, call specialists and make his notes. He got waaaay behind and clients were furious!

Bed availability and time slots are the biggest problem in Ontario (IMHO) and for that we need space, doctors, nurses ... not more managment, not more funded inquiries, not more government interference .... BUT ... then you run into hospitals being run like businesses and I'm not real excited about that either.
Who knows?!

missingmyerica
11-17-2007, 10:02 AM
As a nurse, I have heard one too many stories about people losing their homes, life savings, etc. because they are so unfortunate to have an illness. These are people WITH insurance. I have a friend who is an ER nurse who hurt her back (at work) who has lost EVERYTHING, due to this injury. The insurance company has fought her every step of the way, and the hospital she works at has basically thrown her away like a piece of garbage. She has had surgery after surgery...infection after infection...only to be told she needs to be put in a nursing home to recover. THIS WOMAN IS IN HER FORTIES! She is too sick to fight, and is drowning in the paperwork. After seeing all of this first hand I am convinced our health care system is insane!

As for paying for people that don't or can't work....here's my take on it. MOST people can and do work. Most people want to lead a sucessful and productive life. We tend to focus on the smaller percent of people who don't. Unfortunately, poverty is a cycle that is not easily broken.

almostheaven
11-17-2007, 10:39 AM
On the wait times...my dad was diagnosed with cancer and they had to run tests to see if it had gone to the bone. Some die or chemical they use in these tests wasn't in stock. They call him at 9 PM! the day before his appt. for the test to tell him they have to reschedule. When do they reschedule it? Over a MONTH later. If it's not in the bone, think it can get there in the next month? ::sigh:: And he HAS insurance, 100% miner's, disability AND Medicare. He's insured out the wazzoo.

missingmyerica
11-17-2007, 10:46 AM
On the wait times...my dad was diagnosed with cancer and they had to run tests to see if it had gone to the bone. Some die or chemical they use in these tests wasn't in stock. They call him at 9 PM! the day before his appt. for the test to tell him they have to reschedule. When do they reschedule it? Over a MONTH later. If it's not in the bone, think it can get there in the next month? ::sigh:: And he HAS insurance, 100% miner's, disability AND Medicare. He's insured out the wazzoo.

Get on the phone with that hospital and raise Holy ****!!!:devil: That is completely unacceptable! Talk to whoever you have to, go in person and ask to speak to the CEO if you have to. Raise **** until you get that date changed! There is NO WAY I would put up with this and neither should you. Let me tell you something, in today's health care mess....you have to be proactive and fight for yourself and your loved ones. Working in the hospital, I have noticed that the squeaky wheel ALWAYS gets the grease, so to speak. It's the most informed, proactive patients that get the most attention. Unfortunately, being nice doesn't seem to cut it anymore.:(

almostheaven
11-17-2007, 03:39 PM
Well, it's already done. The reschedule date was 11/5. Now he had more tests this week that he won't get the results for until I believe Tues. His first test was supposed to have been done at the end of Sept. but didn't get done until Nov. 5. And it wasn't in the bone. These last tests he had were to see if it was elsewhere.

But in the end, my mom and dad have this belief that God has healed him and they're not going to be concerned about it.

kaplods
11-17-2007, 05:03 PM
EZMoney, I do know what you meant, but I was more responding to how easy the statement could be misinterpreted. I think as far as how Michael Moore has been known to spin things, it is probably among the least distorted of many of the things he's said.

Most of us have a perception of how common certain things are, based on our own experiences and what we are exposed to (including what we see, hear, and read in the media). The perception of welfare abuse is the norm rather than the exception. The main reason - we will very rarely if ever hear of or see the vast majority of welfare "success stories." The family on it for six months after a job loss, illness or death of a spouse will never make the news. Most people perceive themselves as much lower on the income scale than they actually are, because the lifestyles they see on television are so out of the ordinary. As for volunteering, yes more people "should" do it, but there's no way to make them.

I probably sound like a liberal democrat, but I'm actually more of a moderate independent. A conservative republican coworker once said moderates are people too lazy to have an opinion, but the fact is that I believe in spending as little government (tax) money as possible on the most necessary and effective choices. Some of the choices I find important, other people wouldn't, that's why we have to vote. I do wish that the party system weren't so entrenched, so that those of us who do have beliefs that don't fall along traditional party lines had more of a voice.

almostheaven
11-17-2007, 05:25 PM
Most of us have a perception of how common certain things are, based on our own experiences and what we are exposed to (including what we see, hear, and read in the media). The perception of welfare abuse is the norm rather than the exception. The main reason - we will very rarely if ever hear of or see the vast majority of welfare "success stories." The family on it for six months after a job loss, illness or death of a spouse will never make the news.
Well, I base my perception on my experience. That's the experience of one who had to resort to welfare and government housing while I got a quick career school education because I refused to raise my daughter on welfare after my ex took off on us. You rarely hear or see it because, it rarely happens. I lived in a 60+ government apt. complex. One old man was disabled, I went to school full time, and two dads worked. The rest? Welfare leaches. Welfare lifers. One of them I know (that was 1986) is STILL on welfare and has added 2 more kids to her previous 3. At least the last 2 have the same dad. Four men, five kids, still living on the government dole. She doesn't deserve insurance paid for by me. Though she's getting it through her Medicaid no doubt.Neither did the other nearly 60 residents. IIRC, there were 64 or 66 apts. So there was AT LEAST 60 non-working welfare recipients. Many of them living with their boyfriends without welfare knowing about them. A few of them getting double foodstamps via fraudulent means, several of them selling drugs out their back doors, and MANY of them selling their stamps for cash to buy cigarettes.

So it may not seem that prevalent. But if you actually go down into the projects and watch, or just live there for a couple years as I did, you might find it's more rampant than you had realized.

And the few actually trying to get out of that aren't written about in the news because they're so overshadowed by the many that DON'T try getting out. I could give more horror stories of what I witnessed in those brief couple of years. It was so bad, for my tastes, that I moved out to pay $200/mo. for a 12 x 60 trailer (a breadbox), rather than the $150 I paid there once I'd began working. The apt. was three times the size of the trailer, and less money. But you know...it wasn't welfare. And I no longer had to grit my teeth to keep from slapping the bejezzus out of one of my extra stupid neighbors who had no clue about morals or decency.

Sorry, didn't mean to go off on a rant. But ever since I was there, I always get easily riled thinking about welfare leeches. And people who've never lived it just can't see that it's really all that bad or that people won't try if given a chance. Believe you me...there are PLENTY of people who enjoy a free ride. Mostly because they don't know any better themselves. And they pass it on generation after generation. And until their thinking gets changed somewhere along the line, they keep breeding more welfare leeches. I just don't think the answer lies in giving them even more freebies. Most of them already get Medicaid anyway, so I guess it's a moot point on giving them insurance and a whole different topic.

But from being there, it's just shown me that not everyone is willing to work for what they get, or to even be appreciative of what is given to them. Many more people than we may even realize. Not the majority, not by a long shot, but enough. And it may be a lot of the reason why people just tire of donating voluntarily and why they don't want the money taken from them to pay for these groups of people while paying for others. If only there were a better system to ferret out the wheat from the chafe as they used to say back in the horse and buggy days....

almostheaven
11-17-2007, 05:28 PM
Just to add...

Just realized it was 66 apts. 6 per unit, 10 units. Not that it matter, it was still too many not working or going to school or disabled compared to the measely 4 that fell into those categories. 62 people doing nothing but having kids.

Which is one of the extra stupid neighbor comments...

I was one day asked when I was going to have another kid (I had one). I said "When I can afford one." They said, "But if you have another one, welfare will increase your benefits." Does that sound crazy to anyone else? Sheesh!

kaplods
11-17-2007, 06:36 PM
I didn't say it wasn't common, it's just not as common as the perception, and more has to be done to prevent people from abusing the system. I was a probation officer for three years so I also saw much more than my share of
the abusers. I saw enough to also think this was the norm, rather than the exception, but I learned that I was wrong. The vast majority (I no longer remember the statistics) of welfare recipients are on welfare less than a year. This doesn't mean that many people do abuse the system. Most welfare recipients do not live in assisted living situations, they live in the community in houses and apartments next door to people not in the system. In low income housing situations you concentrate the number of welfare ricipients, and you also concentrate the abuses.

There are many who abuse the system, far too many, but statistically it is still a small percentage. Still, even if it's 10% (and I no longer know what the true statistics are), it's too much, and more has to be done to keep people from using the system as a life-long crutch.

I had a girl on my probation caseload, for a minor offense, who was really trying to get her life together. She was trying to get financial aid to go to college and had a job, but was still living with her welfare mom. She was only 17, and her mother was pushing her to get pregnant (she had no steady boyfriend) so that she could move out of the house and get her own welfare check.

I also had many women on probation who were trying very hard to get off welfare, but the jobs they could get had no insurance and transportation and child care costs made it nearly impossible. Many were functionally illiterate (and to be blunt) not very intelligent. It's very easy to sit and judge (I certainly did my share), but the line isn't always clear between people who CAN help themselves and people who can't. I can't tell you how many times I had to explain very simple things working people take for granted, like the need for an alarm clock (and how to use one). I had a woman who was offered a job, and when they asked "when can you start?" and she said "as soon as I find daycare for my son." Two weeks later (not calling them at all during this time) she discovered they gave the job to someone else. She was astonished and didn't understand why they "broke their word."

That's why I would be in favor of welfare systems that involved mandatory employment even if jobs had to be invented and were sort of lame (like some of my college work-study jobs) it would discourage people from using it when they just didn't want to work. We put mentally handicapped people in sheltered workshops where they are often basically forced to work whether they really want to or not (I've worked in these places), it seems like we could do the same for welfare recipients. If they don't have the skills, they could be taught them.

I don't know if it would work, but I think it would be worth a shot.

SoulBliss
11-17-2007, 07:10 PM
In California there is a very strict cap on the amount of public aid/welfare one can receive in a LIFETIME (3-5 years MAX) with teh CALWorks program. In addition, mothers have to go back to work 3-6 weeks after the baby is born. There is no such thing as a "career welfare recipient" anymore, in California.

Here's some food for thought:

http://www.cffpp.org/briefings_ca/brief_0303.html

A separate survey on the prevalence of domestic violence among women who receive CalWORKS found that:

* Approximately 80% of recipients had experienced abuse at some point in their lives; over half had a need for domestic violence services at some point in the previous three years; and only half of women experiencing serious abuse sought help from law enforcement, courts, a service agency, or health provider.
* Need for domestic violence services was found to result in substantially lower wages, a higher incidence of job loss, and fewer weeks of work during the previous year.
* Many abused women were also in need of mental health and/or substance abuse services.
* Only three of the six hundred thirty-two women surveyed had received the Family Violence Option waiver, exempting them from CalWORKS work requirements, in the last thee years.

EZMONEY
11-17-2007, 07:32 PM
Thanks for that info SOUL.

almostheaven
11-17-2007, 10:37 PM
That's why I would be in favor of welfare systems that involved mandatory employment even if jobs had to be invented and were sort of lame (like some of my college work-study jobs) it would discourage people from using it when they just didn't want to work. We put mentally handicapped people in sheltered workshops where they are often basically forced to work whether they really want to or not (I've worked in these places), it seems like we could do the same for welfare recipients. If they don't have the skills, they could be taught them.

I don't know if it would work, but I think it would be worth a shot.
I'd prefer they didn't set up a system of lame jobs but actually forced them into a learning program. Just putting them to work "making boxes" (which I saw on some special about some state's welfare program doing this grrrrrrr) doesn't get them off welfare. It keeps them there. Putting them into a career school program, helping them get their GED and learn some typing or accounting skills, SOMETHING they can actually use, would get them off the system. And if they refuse to go, take them off welfare. Of course they won't do that because of the kids. Which brings up this point...

In California there is a very strict cap on the amount of public aid/welfare one can receive in a LIFETIME (3-5 years MAX) with teh CALWorks program. In addition, mothers have to go back to work 3-6 weeks after the baby is born. There is no such thing as a "career welfare recipient" anymore, in California.
Nearly every state has a 5 year cap now. And there's a way around all of them. If you have another kid, you STILL get welfare. You will get smaller check as they won't give YOU money now, but they'll continue giving you stamps and money for your kids. They don't want the kids going without. So they just keep popping them out for larger and larger checks. And they can feed em all using free food pantries and sell their stamps. Well now it's, take a friend to the store and buy them tax free food on your food "card", and they give you .50 on the dollar back in cash for doing it.

If there's a way to abuse the system, someone will. And if there isn't a way, someone will invent one. :( If they put nearly as much thought into making money than in taking money, they could really make a good income.

kaplods
11-18-2007, 01:17 PM
I didn't mean that the jobs should be lame, but many politicians argue that programs like this couldn't be successful because there just aren't enough existing jobs to go around (which I don't believe, because I think decent jobs can be invented with a little creative thinking). However, even "making boxes," could be useful in teaching some of the most basic job skills like getting to work every day, on time, dressed appropriately, and how to interact with people in the workplace. Ideally the people who had absolutely no job or people skills would start at jobs that require the fewest skills (the ones that seem "lame" to anyone who has worked before) and work their way up as they gained job skills.

Most of us don't even realize we ever learned these skills, because it never occurred to us to do otherwise. I know before I was a probation officer, I never realized people existed who didn't understand the concept of an alarm clock. They might have seen them on tv, but no one in their family had ever owned one. I never expected to have to explain the concept of "calling in sick." You don't know how many times, from how many people I've heard "but my boss knows I don't have a phone." Yeah, and he also knows that your neighbor or someone else within walking distance of your house does.

I do think that most people do want to work, or at least would if they had a chance to feel the sense of pride and accomplishment in being useful to society. I worked with juvenile and adult offenders and in social service with very limited individuals for over 15 years, and some of these people appeared completely useless to society. I've met very few who didn't have dreams of being someone useful or important to others. Though many had absolutely no idea how to take the first step, or didn't believe that they were capable of it because of failures in the past (or failures they had witnessed in their parents and sometimes nearly everyone they knew).

techwife
11-18-2007, 01:36 PM
Back to the original topic...I cannot stand Michael Moore or anyone that seeks to create controversy in a country that is already divided enough as it is. Someone with his power should be trying to bring people together, not making matters worse.

junebug41
11-18-2007, 02:00 PM
Back to the original topic...I cannot stand Michael Moore or anyone that seeks to create controversy in a country that is already divided enough as it is. Someone with his power should be trying to bring people together, not making matters worse.

I thought the original topic was to ask people about universal health care in countries outside the US, not Michael Moore...

EZMONEY
11-18-2007, 05:03 PM
Leave it to JEN and TECH to stir things up ;)

junebug41
11-18-2007, 06:17 PM
Leave it to JEN and TECH to stir things up ;)

Don't look at me, I'm just confused. :)

techwife
11-18-2007, 06:25 PM
Just watched Michael Moores movie, Sicko and wanted to hear what others thought about it. Any thoughts?

My thoughts...Michael Moore is a creep and I would never watch anything he does...movies, interviews, whatever it is. Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Moderate, whatever...it would be nice to see him do something to unite people instead of further divide them.

Not too confusing. Sorry...MM is like Rap music to me...just stirs up all kinds of hate feelings and makes my blood boil. :mad:

techwife
11-18-2007, 06:53 PM
Healthcare: When I went to college, HALF of the women in my classes were having their entire college paid for by the government totally because they proved themselves to be fertile before the age of twenty and needed assistance. One woman was 25 years old and was PG with her FIFTH KID...ALL DIFFERENT DADS! The government paid for her housing, food, daycare, college tuition, EVERYTHING. This isn't a shot at single parents, because there I was right amongst them having a baby and not married....but I went to work at my co-op job at Kodak (jobs that were, literally, being given away by means of simply going to college to become a secretary) and had FULL BENEFITS paid to me in the form of an HMO through BC/BS. All I had to do was go to the counselor's office and say, "I want a co-op job at Kodak" and it was mine! NONE of the other girls in my classes would take the jobs because it would take away what the government was giving them. And, I got into Koday full-time when I graduated.

I didn't have my classes paid for for me....I went to the bursar's office once an month and paid for them myself. I didn't get government housing, I moved in with my grandma until I graduate. I took care of MYSELF. As I said, this isn't a stab at single mothers, but a backing up of Gary's statement of how people take gross advantage of the system without every considering taking care of themselves, totally missing out on the freedom of being independent and the elation of knowing you did it and got through it by yourself. NOt to mention the importance of showing your children the example of not depending on a government check to get you by.

I'll be sitting here waiting to by cyber bashed by people who are more intelligent then I am or more knowing or more open minded or whatever it is that makes you think you're better than me because you haven't been in my shoes and seen the abuse of the system that I've seen. I realize that I'm not as smart as the rest of you, but this topic just really angers me to the point that I need a couple of TWINKIES!!! The abuse of the system is VERY MUCH SO taken advantage of and if you disagree with me, then we will just have to agree to disagree.

mandalinn82
11-18-2007, 07:24 PM
I'm sure there are stories from both sides in both the US and any other country - both people taking gross advantage of the programs available to them, as well as people who found themselves in circumstances where they needed assistance and couldn't get what they needed. Both sides exist, and both are problems.

Please don't fall into the twinkies! It isn't worth it!

EZMONEY
11-18-2007, 07:43 PM
It ain't sayin' much TECH but you're smarter than me! And you KNOW I got yer back! :hug:

EZMONEY
11-18-2007, 07:47 PM
Don't look at me, I'm just confused. :)

Nope KIDDO you are smart ~ the thread just wandered off the main track...personally I am OK with it...much like general conversations.

Good luck against Nebraska on friday :hug:

Lally
11-18-2007, 10:16 PM
I'm Canadian, and can only speak from my own experience, but I feel very fortunate to have the medical care that exists here. It's not a perfect system, by any means, but show me where a perfect system exists?

I can see the doctor of my choosing whenever an appointment is available. I rarely have to wait more than a day or two for a regular appointment, and if I need to see a specialist, will often have an appointment within 2 weeks (in an emergency situation, I was in front of a specialist within 2 hours). I also have the option of visiting any walk-in clinic and being seen within a couple of hours. I have been hospitalized three times - birth of my son, removal of my gallbladder, and treatment of an infection. In all cases, I had a private room, fantastic care, access to specialists, and no outrageous bill at the end. Under the Fair Pharmacare program, we do get our prescriptions covered after hitting a family deductible (different for each family, based on income). In our case, due to my son's medical needs, we often hit our deductible within the first quarter of the year - after that, all meds are paid for 100%. Also, my son has been hospitalized numerous times and requires ongoing care with a specialist - thankfully, because of where we live and the medical care in place, we've never had to worry about the costs involved with his condition and care. It leaves us free to just care for him, which is a very big deal to me.

My son's care, without the insurance we have here, would cost us over $600 per month in out of pocket expenses - that's just for him alone, and doesn't include anything else that might arise, like a broken leg or a bump on the head, or anything DH and I might need. We do pay a bit more in taxes, but in my family's case, at least, we have definitely received much more in return for what we've had to pay.

murphmitch
11-18-2007, 10:32 PM
One woman was 25 years old and was PG with her FIFTH KID...ALL DIFFERENT DADS!
As a postpartum nurse, unfortunately I see this all the time. Some people make really bad choices and it's too bad that we all have to pay for it. About half of the women that I care for are on some kind of government assistance. I have been a nurse for 30 years and the number of single parents has skyrocketed. Not surprisingly, many are on welfare. An increasing number have exposed their babies to drugs and tobacco. I never treat anyone differently, regardless of their situation. I want everyone to have the best possible experience with their new child that I can give them. But sometimes, I feel discouraged that some people only make their plight worse by making bad choices. I worry about the kids the most.

mandalinn82
11-18-2007, 11:03 PM
As a postpartum nurse, unfortunately I see this all the time. Some people make really bad choices and it's too bad that we all have to pay for it. About half of the women that I care for are on some kind of government assistance. I have been a nurse for 30 years and the number of single parents has skyrocketed. Not surprisingly, many are on welfare. An increasing number have exposed their babies to drugs and tobacco. I never treat anyone differently, regardless of their situation. I want everyone to have the best possible experience with their new child that I can give them. But sometimes, I feel discouraged that some people only make their plight worse by making bad choices. I worry about the kids the most.

But you just don't know people's circumstances. I have a friend who, when she got pregnant, had a fabulous job at a mortgage company. She decided she could support the child, and well she could at the time. The baby was conceived despite birth control used, according to the friend, properly (but who really knows...). Then the housing market crashed, and she found herself without a job or insurance, 5 months pregnant. She searched the entire time she was pregnant for a job, but no one would hire someone who was showing (after all, they'd have to give maternity leave...it isn't legal, but it happens). She couldn't afford private insurance or even COBRA because she wasn't bringing in any money. She had a TERRIBLE experience with the MediCal system that almost resulted in her baby's death. And some nurse at the hospital made a comment to her about "welfare moms" and the bad decisions they made...after she had been in labor for 40 hours.

The hospital where she was required to have her baby (almost exclusively there for births of mothers on MediCal...the women in her lamaze classes were all on assistance of some kind) had no anesthesiologist on staff because of budget. If a baby went into distress, they had to call an anasthesiologist to give an epidural before they could do a c-section. Anyone who works in childbirth knows that if your doctor has to drive 15 minutes before you can get a c-section, it is likely going to be too late.

Again, there are multiple sides to every story, and people who abuse the system as well as those who can't get the care they need despite trying to make the best choices.

ETA: The saddest part of this story, for me, was what happened when she and the baby's father tried to get couples counseling. They had only been together 3 months when she became pregnant, but they made a joint commitment to try to make it work. Unfortunately, since they had been together only a short time, they had some issues. They wanted to go to therapy to try to resolve the issues before they became parents. There were NO counseling resources available to them. It was so sad to see a couple TRYING to do the right thing - unite before having a child that may not have been timed as well as it might have been - being unable to get the help they needed.

murphmitch
11-18-2007, 11:34 PM
But you just don't know people's circumstances.
No , you don't. That's why you should never be judgemental. Only offer them as much help as able to.

srmb60
11-18-2007, 11:51 PM
Sorry Amanda. You're a smart gal and I admire and appreciate you very much however I can't let this go by ....
[QUOTE=mandalinn82;1934674]
If a baby went into distress, they had to call an anasthesiologist to give an epidural before they could do a c-section. Anyone who works in childbirth knows that if your doctor has to drive 15 minutes before you can get a c-section, it is likely going to be too late. [QUOTE]

I'm very afraid that this is the kind of information that sends young pregnant women into an unnatural tailspin of worry.

In hundreds of small hospitals all over North America, there is not full surgical staff in the building 24/7. If we have an anesthesiologist on call (whether in the building or at home) we'll git er done -or- we pop young mom in an ambulance and send her 35 mins down the road to a larger centre. I think, although we'd need Midwife to know for sure, that about the same time frame exists for planned home births.

I don't like to openly call out a disagreement but I felt strongly about this one.

murphmitch
11-18-2007, 11:58 PM
We're a trauma center so we always have an anethesiologist in house, but sometimes they are tied up on another case. Thankfully, there is usually more than one available. However, I have heard of a few tragic cases in the past where there was a wait involved and not a good outcome for baby. This was many years ago and not a problem where I work. By the way a emergency c-section would have a general anesthetic, not an epidural.

mandalinn82
11-19-2007, 12:04 AM
SusanB - another girl in her Lamaze class went into labor a week before she did, in the same hospital. The baby went into distress, they paged the anesthesiologist, and he got there too late. My friend found out about this friend's baby's death a week before she went into labor. So it CAN be risky to give birth in a hospital without an anesthesiologist on staff. It isn't going to be a bad outcome all the time, or a bad outcome even most of the time, but it is riskier. I guess my point is that women who are insured have more choices in hospital, or get to choose whether they have a home birth. Women who can't go to any other hospital don't have that choice.

Not to mention that the only pain control offered for mothers giving birth there was narcotics. They did not have the option of an epidural.

I just found it eyeopening as to the differences in hospitals for insured patients and hospitals used primarily by women on public assistance.

srmb60
11-19-2007, 12:11 AM
This is not at all pertinent but is a cute coincidence.
Almost 26 years ago my BP was 210/110 and baby's heart rate was 60 (counted on a watch with a stethoscope!) Late on a Sunday evening, in our small hospital (where I still work) we called a crash section. All the OR staff had to drive in. There was no such thing as an epidural in our area then.

That baby boy just wandered downstairs mumbling that he couldn't get to sleep and has to work in the morning.

NemesisClaws
11-19-2007, 12:12 AM
Just watched this documentary a few nights ago, and wanted to post some thoughts on it and others on this thread....

I admire and even encourage Michael Moore for making documentaries that at least get folks talking and taking ACTION on an issue....indeed, there were quite a few things in this documentary that rang all too true for me based on my own experiences. However, I do have a few bones to pick with his movie though....he reportedly took a few years to do this, so he should've had both sides to the story here...for instance, England, Canada, and whoever else insurance was supposed to be so fabulous...well, I'm sure there are a few things about it that's not quite so fabulous....in addition, I felt like he really only did a very minor story on the health care issues here in America, so that should've been improved upon. I felt like overall, his documentary was too full of cheesy cliches, and could've been much more informative than it was.

Now regarding America's health care issues....Michael Moore is correct when he basically implies that insurance companies, even the most elite of them, generally only want you pay into it every month, but will drop you like a hot potato the minute you need them to start paying your hospital bills. I've experienced this for a FULL year when I needed my college insurance to pay for a surgery, and even had my own doctor call them repeatedly to get them to pay, only to have my insurance expire a few months later with no payment in sight. Guess what finally ended up paying for it? Medicare and Medicaid, half-n-half....which really was a shocker for me since these two insurances are generally considered to be the ultimate scorn by doctors, and I'm always having to go to a clinic that's the only one in town that will take these insurance, and this clinic by the way is usually staffed by doctors fresh out of medical school. To say I don't have a choice in who I see is putting it mildly.

I much prefer I didn't have these insurances, but I am deaf with a CI implant, so I need them for various doctor's visits and audiology. Without these free insurance, I would be in a serious hurt. By the way, I'm also a college student. I have had jobs before that offers ZERO benefits, and do everything they can to avoid giving you these benefits too. I have seen people try their hardest to rise above their poverty status, only to get knocked every which way coming and going by the govt. In the end, they usually just give up and resign themselves to what is.

On the flip coin, I have also witnessed folks who clearly need some help from the govt, and can't get it for all the pennies in the world. It's insane what our govt has come to, and I have no hope in our political leaders in correcting it either. Especially not today in light of our serious budget issues, in which we are now in debt by the trillions. I have a feeling a lot of our programs will be cut, and we will be taxed much more than we are now to pay for the debt....it's just a matter of time. Maybe then we'll see universal health care in America, who knows?

srmb60
11-19-2007, 12:13 AM
Amanda ... yes, that's one of the things that I feel is far better about socialized medicine. If we don't have it handy, it's not far away -and- available for everyone.

Me23
11-19-2007, 09:05 AM
This is a good discussion.
How come, when there are so many enlightened and thoughtful people out there, we still have nothing like a socialist government? (By we I mean the UK since that's where I'm living. I don't know enough about US politics to comment). Why - when so many people *know* that inequality, the poverty line, and the abuse of benefits are messing everything up - do most people not even know who the socialist candidate is? Are we, as a nation, just terrified of change?
I have not seen sicko but from what I have seen of michael m he is a sensationalist - he addresses real problems BUT in an adolescent and uninformed way. His anti-war propaganda showed me he knew very little about the Iraqi people. Not that I'm pro-war or anything. Just half-Iraqi.
And really - that guy needs to do his homework before he starts yelling his opinions.
Nemesis - quite right, the UK system has its problems. But I'll take it over nothing. You say Medicare and Medicard covered you? Does that mean you have to get more than one kind of insurance? But you say they're free - is that judged on a needs-basis? Sorry I feel very ignorant now but trying to expand my knowledge about US politics!

What happens when a woman without insurance goes into labour?

murphmitch
11-19-2007, 11:03 AM
At our hospital, she would deliver and be cared for there. Social workers would get her signed up with Medicaid if she qualified. If she didn't, she would be billed. But our hospital donates quite a bit of care annually, so she might not have to pay it all of it. Sometimes these moms deliver and go home soon afterwards. No one is ever turned away. That is against the law.
We also have a county hospital in town that is quite nice. They have a newly remodeled OB unit that is very nice with good doctors. You also have a lot of residents caring for you. That is where you are "supposed" to go if you have no insurance. Or we have a university hospital that many people go to, but it is quite a distance away. Also has a lot of residents, but top notch care.

NemesisClaws
11-19-2007, 05:58 PM
Me23...technically I'm only supposed to have Medicaid because I am young, but for some odd reason, they started giving me Medicare too. I have personally never really understood why they started giving me Medicare too (since it's really supposed to be for much older people), and indeed, every time I ask I always get a different answer, each one making no sense than before. After numerous times on this, I finally gave up on figuring it out. There's only so many hours in the day I'm willing to waste on trying to give this insurance back...ugh...the irony.

Me23
11-20-2007, 04:55 AM
LOL good for you, keep it! I didn't know about systems like that which give people free insurance. That's not really so different from having a 'safety net' system of housing/healthcare like here in the UK.

NemesisClaws
11-20-2007, 04:53 PM
Well, it's free, yes, but you get very basic care, you have no choice in doctors...indeed, I have to literally hunt all over town just to find a doctor or dentist who will take it, and the quality of care itself is usually not the best. Half the time, I'm treated as if I had no insurance. Still, I am grateful for what I have, especially in light of today's astronomical medical prices...

silverfox
11-20-2007, 05:08 PM
We're pretty lucky. My DH is retired military, so we are eligible for medical coverage through his retirement. We pay $115 every three months, and if we use the healthcare facilities on the Army base near our home we pay no extra costs. If we use an outside place, we pay a co-pay of 20-25 dollars. Our kids are covered till age 18, 23 if they are going to college full-time.

I am all for a universal healthcare system. My oldest son recently had a small accident where he cut himself pretty badly. Since he isn't in college, we can't cover him under our insurance. I called three hospitals that night, and they all said that no matter what was wrong with him, unless he had cash up front, they couldn't help.

Fortunately we got the problem taken care of and thank God it wasn't serious. I just couldn't believe that these places were more concerned with $$ than with helping someone who was injured.

almostheaven
11-20-2007, 06:05 PM
I've never heard of a hospital that wouldn't take someone without cash. In fact, I'm not sure they're allowed to refuse anyone treatment. You just go in to the emergency room and get seen, then they bill you.

kaplods
11-20-2007, 07:16 PM
For emergency care, that is true. Trauma victims are much less likely to get a different level of care based on financial situation (which probably isn't even known while treatment is being given in many cases). Routine and preventative care is much different, and varies greatly from one area of the country to the other. The standard of care can also be very different in one community to the next. Some communities have a greater discrepancy between the level of care patients recieve.

I lived in a town that had a hospital with a generally bad reputation. It's pediatric and obstetric wards were notoriously bad, and even local ob/gyn's would recommend that their patients travel 35 - 45 minutes to better hospitals to give birth. Even most low income families found a way to get mom-to-be to one of the other hospitals. In this case, the hospitals may not have been discriminating against paitients, but the poorest people didn't have access to the better hospital.

ennay
11-20-2007, 08:03 PM
I've never heard of a hospital that wouldn't take someone without cash. In fact, I'm not sure they're allowed to refuse anyone treatment. You just go in to the emergency room and get seen, then they bill you.

But that is the kicker...you can be seen in the most expensive medical facility in the community - the ER. Which means the ER is backed up with people coming in for routine crap that could and should be handled at a doctors office. And well...I already started a separate thread about how the poor - even the state insured poor - get treated for preventative care.

If uninsured and underinsured could be seen in other medical facilities, the bloated costs wouldnt bankrupt them. You can spend a week in a shared room in a hospital for what it costs for a few hours in an ER. And about 60 doctor visits. Dh went to the ER after a motorcycle accident was there for a few hours and was released and it cost 6 times what my son's stay in PICU for 2 days cost.

I am split on the national healthcare question.

I do not believe in our government's ability to run an efficient program dollar wise

I think our health care costs are bloated because of our extremely litigious society, they keep talking about how much more expensive it is in the US but a significant portion of that cost is malpractice - I have a friend who is an OBGYN in private practice - 60% of her expenses are malpractice insurance and she has never had a major lawsuit.

Malpractice Insurance companies are increasingly making medical decisions for doctors. There are parts of the country where a pregnant woman does not have access to VBAC delivery even though it is still statistically safer than a repeat C because the VBAC has a higher potential for large jury settlement if things go wrong. --ok I am off on a tangent rant but I think they are connected.

I dont believe a NHC plan can be put in for the type of money that the politicians are claiming, I think it will be much more expensive and I see overall healthcare could decline if there becomes a greater gap between the private hospitals and the "national" public hospitals.

I think it will be a hard sell to those who HAVE private insurance if it means that overall care "declines". I put that in quotes because I think there are things that we take for granted that are luxuries that we would scream bloody murder if they were taken away. I know my friends in England and Canada laugh at the concept of the private birthing suites that are available even in public hospitals in this country.

NightengaleShane
11-20-2007, 08:06 PM
ennay, what you just said was brilliant. I couldn't have said it better. :) :hug:

junebug41
11-20-2007, 08:15 PM
ennay, what you just said was brilliant. I couldn't have said it better. :) :hug:

I agree, Ennay. Well put.

murphmitch
11-21-2007, 12:54 AM
I think our health care costs are bloated because of our extremely litigious society, they keep talking about how much more expensive it is in the US but a significant portion of that cost is malpractice - I have a friend who is an OBGYN in private practice - 60% of her expenses are malpractice insurance and she has never had a major lawsuit

I know Drs. who have quit practicing medicine because their malpractice insurance was so high. Especially in the OB-GYN specialty.
We had one woman who would not push when it came time to deliver her baby. Just laid there & cussed at her nurses. The doctor had to use forceps on the baby. The baby did have some residual nerve problems in one arm afterwards and she ended up suing her doctor for malpractice. I believe he settled out of court with her, which is usually the case because it's too expensive and bad PR to fight it and the lawyers know this.

NemesisClaws
11-21-2007, 01:24 AM
Simply put, it's a shame what our health care system has come to.

Two years ago, I was a witness to my sister-in-law's labor and subsequent birth of her son, and was at the hospital with her for a very long time. Each time we asked the nurses if she was dilated, how much sooner, etc etc, and always got evasive answers for the most part. Finally, around nighttime, she gave birth to a healthy boy, but NOT until the doctor showed up. That's when I found out that the nurses slowed her labor way down so that the doctor could be present and then get PAID for delivering this child. This kid could've been delivered a helluva lot sooner if it hadn't been for that. Plus, by slowing her labor down, they increased the risk of complications and who knows what else....I recently found out the other day that America has the highest rate of infant deaths, and that's when this popped into my head. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like money is the idol of America, far above people's lives today, and frankly God.

missingmyerica
11-21-2007, 08:36 AM
The real reason malpractice is so high is because for YEARS the "boys club" of doctors refused to say anything when one of their "partners" was doing something wrong! Doctors are notorious for looking the other way when there is a KNOWN problem with another doctor. How many times have you seen a doctor turned in for alcohol/drug abuse, by his fellow doctors? Time and time again, we have watched doctors ignore the messes that their partners make. They just make excuses until they can get them out of THEIR practice. Forget the fact that he will still be practicing on some unsuspecting patient, just as long as he's out of their practice and they won't have to lay out money for his lawsuits.

midwife
11-21-2007, 11:38 AM
What a fascinating (and long!) discussion. I am smack dab in the middle of all of these issues, both as a health care provider and a consumer.

My dd requires surgery that we will pay out-of-pocket for as my insurance will not cover it. If we had Medicaid, that would cover the surgery. I am glad we can pay for it, but it will be a chunk of change.

Many of my patients are covered by Medicaid, and I am grateful they have coverage, because prenatal care is important.

The question in my mind is: Is health care a right or a business? It really is both. I love my job, but I would not do it for free. My family needs to eat. People can and do get "free" care (the care is given but the recipient may never fork over $$$ for it), but people still need to get paid. Nurses, lab techs, housekeeping, malpractice premiums.

In my state, the OBs are capped. That is, they can only be sued for so much money....not millions and millions of dollars. A nice little piece of legislation, unfortunately, midwives and nurse practitioners are not covered by the legislation, so guess who is getting sued in my state? The ones with the deep pockets, and it is not the doctors.

Many midwives in my state cannot afford to pay for malpractice coverage with the pitiful reimbursement we get from payors. Our costs go up and our income goes down, and some cannot stay afloat.

Medicaid does cover out of hospital birth in my state, so here women have the same range of choices whether they have public or private payors.

I know that I don't change my care based on a woman's coverage, except in 2 situations. If a woman wants a tubal ligation and the government is paying for it, we have to have her sign a consent 30 days in advance. The other situation is a private insurance compay that refuses to pay for most ultrasounds. Those women get jacked over by their insurance company and our hands are tied unless the women want to pay out-of-pocket. Those silly radiologists don't like to work for free.

The malpractice problem is a HUGE problem. Some people want OB providers to wave a magic wand and guarantee a perfect outcome but refuse to take responsiblity for their own health and choices. There are no guaranteed perfect outcomes, and for some reason cash fixes everything. It is a load of $*%, and I could tell you stories, but since this is a public forum I won't.

I am constantly aware of how John Edwards made his money and I doubt he will be a good advocate for malpractice reform if he makes it into the White House.

Health care is a business, and everytime someone sues, malpractice rates climb, and that cost is passed onto the consumers. Everytime someone gets "free" care, that cost is passed onto taxpayers, businesses and other healthcare consumers.

It is out of control. I found out what people pay for a 15 minute appointment with me if they have to pay cash and I nearly choked. I do NOT get that money. I'll tell you that!

As for safe obstetric care, it is important to consider risk factors and a safe location for one woman may not be a safe location for another woman. I think the general rule of thumb is 30 minutes from decision to incision, but for some kids that may be too late. A lot of c-sections are done to CYA though, so how many are truly emergent? Common sense ain't so common anymore.

My practice has a 14% c-section rate (US national stats are about 30% last time I checked) and we do offer VBACs. I think anyone providing maternity care right now has to be careful and not do anything stupid. Of course what I think is idiocy may be standard of care in other places.

I just got my cholesterol checked. It is borderline. I have a choice. I can continue to exercise, lose weight, and clean up my diet and it will probably go down. I can choose to not do those behaviors and it will go up. If it goes up, who should pay for my choices? Me? My insurance? Suppose my insurance lapses....then America will pay for it!

I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to this subject. I do believe health care is a right, but I also believe each person must bear responsilibity for his or her own health. Medicaid will pay for 13 weeks in the NICU for a preemie born after a placental abruption for a mom on cocaine....that is out of taxpayers' pockets. The person who made the decision to use cocaine is not financially responsible at all.

To breastfeed or not is a personal decision....but if a baby who is formula fed (formula paid for by taxpayers through WIC) ends up in the PICU with RSV, guess who pays for it?

Socialized health care may also require personal responsibility, but how much do we want the government in our business? See, I have a very split personality on this subject!

I would say the first step is to demedicalize birth as much as possible. Give the power back to the families and work in partnership with them. But I am biased of course!

A long rambling post that doesn't actually say much, I guess....

ETA...I know breastfed babies can get RSV (Ennay, I think your post triggered my memory of my formula fed nephew in the PICU and I hope my use of this example does not make you feel uncomfortable....let me know if it does and I will edit it), and I know there are a few women who cannot breastfeed, but more breastfeeding would improve infants' health across the population...although I also don't think women should be pressured to do something they don't want to do, but then why should I as a taxpayer pay for that choice? LOL! I don't know if I am coming or going this morning!

ennay
11-21-2007, 12:04 PM
ETA...I know breastfed babies can get RSV (Ennay, I think your post triggered my memory of my formula fed nephew in the PICU and I hope my use of this example does not make you feel uncomfortable....let me know if it does and I will edit it),

No worries- although mine is one of those bf'd RSV babies! :lol: